Life as an Ordinand

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Our Community

Our community is a vibrant and diverse group of people from all walks of life. We come together to grow in the grace and knowledge of God, live in community and fellowship, worship together, pray together, study together, laugh together, and weep together.

When you join the community here at Ridley Hall you will find yourself training among people who will become lifelong friends. Together with an excellent teaching and tutorial team, these friends will help you to discover more about the God who reveals himself to us in Jesus and more about the world, which we have been called by Jesus to witness to.

The College community and our surrounding environment are fertile ground and will enable you to grow into your vocation to ordained ministry and help you to deepen your understanding of God’s particular calling for your life.

Image of the lawns with 'This is Fertile Ground' sign

Warm and Welcoming

"Roots down, walls down, bridges out": God's grace is at work in our community in all these ways. At any one time, our community includes ordinands, faculty, staff, youth and children's workers, sports ministers, pioneers, postgraduate clergy, independent students, lay ministers, sabbatical guests, and many others. Our Community Rule guides our communal life as we seek to live out the Gospel and to be shaped to proclaim it more fully in the world.

Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds. Every year new students join the community, enriching us with diverse experiences, perspectives, interests, talents, and passions. Some are into sports, some are into music, some are into arts, and some are bookworms! To discover more about our social life, go to Social Life.

As a Christ-centred community, we are committed to creating a place where everyone belongs, feels welcomed, supported, and equipped to serve.

Being male or female, single or married, with or without children within any mixed community can each present its own challenges as well as its own opportunities. Explore the tabs below for a sense of how Ridley cares for every ordinand and aims to provide for specific needs.

Single ordinands

Single students

To some, the idea of returning to study as a single student can feel strange – like a university undergraduate, you live in on-site accommodation, but at the same time it's a very different situation from one that a first-time student would find themselves in. You will be studying alongside men and women from across the age spectrum, and many already have substantial careers and life histories behind them.

If there is one key aspect to life at Ridley as a single student, it's this: there is space to be yourself and find your own level in what will inevitably be a new environment.

Every year many informal groups arise from mutual interests - whether it be keep-fit sessions, guitar jamming, watching films, or just cooking for one another. There is a genuine culture of care at Ridley, and this is particularly noticeable between married and single students – married students will often make their study bedrooms available for guests of single students to stay in at the weekends.

Married ordinands

Married ordinands

Families of married students are integral to the life of the community. We positively encourage spouses to come with prospective students to our Interview Days – it’s an ideal opportunity for you as a couple to explore your vocation to ministry.

If you are married and considering coming to train at Ridley, you can be assured that your spouse will have full opportunity to be involved as much as he or she would like to be involved in life at Ridley.

And likewise, if you have children, they will be very much embraced as part of the community. University and Federation lectures continue through half-term, but Ridley staff are sensitive to the needs of the family, and do seek to be more flexible during this time wherever possible.

See Families at Ridley for more information on life in college as a spouse or child of an ordinand.

Our City

Ridley’s location in the heart of the city of Cambridge is a wonderful blessing to enjoy during your training. Cambridge is a lively gathering place for people from all over the world and has many churches engaged in mission and evangelism with whom you can expect to undertake placements that will prepare you for the realities of ministry.

Cambridge University is at the cutting edge of research that is addressing some of the most significant challenges of our time. This makes for a rich and stimulating learning environment and means that you will enjoy unprecedented access to spiritual, academic, social and sporting resources during your time at Ridley.

For more information about living in Cambridge, go to Living in Cambridge.

What Will I Do?

During term time, we have a set weekly timetable that helps us pray, grow and learn together. The outline below shows what you can expect as an ordinand in a typical Ridley week. Find out more about worship and mission at Ridley here.

Where Will I Live?

The Ridley campus is home to a significant proportion of our community, along with a Barn Owl and a family of woodpeckers. Single students and some staff live here permanently while our commuting students live in college from Monday to Friday. All students who live in are given their own room on one of our six residential staircases. Non-resident students and their families live outside the college in flats and houses around Cambridge and its neighbouring villages.